Your Favorite Artist is a Petty-Bourgeois Counter Revolutionary
War propaganda has an eerie flavour. At once delivering both extreme inflammatory chaos while those who deliver the "news" always seem to be exalted and detached from the event. Being someone born in 1996 and raised in the 2000s, I wasn't old enough to experience with an adult awareness the propaganda borage of the US invasions into Afghanistan and Iraq. I was only six years old when the US ruling classes carried out the 9/11 crime—a crime so mired in propaganda that most US citizens viciously refuse to question the Pentagon's official narrative. It's one of our "dirty little secrets". It's was a shock, no doubt, for this American arriving in Germany in 2018 to learn that many Germans speak candidly about the real story—all without using the term "terrorist attack".
One could go on in numerous paragraphs—many have and continue to do—about the crimes carried out by the modern ruling class. One could write about the viral photos I saw as a teen of disfigured Afghani babies and how this wasn't some random "humanitarian crisis" but the result of my country using chemical warfare on countless civilians. One could go on, but that's not what I'm writing about today. (two films lay plain the reality of ruling class activities over the last century: "Everything is a Rich Mans Trick" and "Counter Intelligence").
Although only 24 years old when I started, it felt late in life to begin a proper education in geopolitics, the global ruling class, or our ever-present class warfare. These things were always invisible to me in earlier years. My naive questions about the world weren't properly nurtured in my conservative, religious upbringing. Yet, Within my body—all through my life—I was at odds with my society. If someone would have handed me Lenin's "State and Revolution" as a teen I might sooner have begun to understand this class antagonism within me.
In the world, there is Art and then within a neighbouring cultural stratum there is the "creative industry". They are not similar in any way, but the latter is a parasite to the former. In either case, a sea of petty-bourgeois people crowds the room. They are what some might call "liberals", "leftists" etcetera; their defining characteristic is either attempting to become or already being a part of the dilettante wealth classes.
When I was a child, my refuge was in art. This position was encouraged by my family and what was a childhood hobby slowly became a "career"—by the age of 15, this teen was painting sneakers to sell them over the internet. This "self-starter ingenuity" is something that capitalist society masturbates over—the child with the lemonade stand, etc. The supreme ideology of the American is that building a business is among the most sacred actions alongside marrying, starting a family, and going to church. This is anything but a natural disposition but one that I nonetheless pursued. This led me into the society of the petty-bourgeois.
By some combination of my aesthetic curiosity, naivety, and natural talent, my trajectory into this realm was quite swift—a template "path to success" story. Over the years of my "career", no matter the circumstance of my work or social status there was this class antagonism within my body—indescribable at the time. Something about my philosophy, politics, and nature was in complete contradiction. While it was never apparent to me during the previous decade, I now understand why so many of my "relationships" failed. This unspoken difference maintained a building pressure. At some point, this pressure would climax.
Coming into a political awareness some years back initiated in me a restructuring of self. Learning about the US, the global elite, and so on outside of the norms of mainstream media sources was both exciting and dreadful. The dread was that it required new methods of behaviour and this fact would only prevent me from staying politically "neutral" in the world of the petty-bourgeois—neutrality being a favourable trait to this class.
Yet, while this class sees itself as politically neutral, it is nearly always in bed with counter-revolutionary, imperialist politics regarding class, authority, and labor. Today, while this or that influencer, art director, or banal "creative" shouts "Support Ukraine", they only do so while it's trending; while it only requires sharing images of flags. They all ride the wave of solidarity as a means of self-promotion and yet cannot within themselves find the time for critical thinking on geopolitics. In this sense, politics is for the petty-bourgeois is an act of looking without seeing, deciding without thinking, and talking without saying anything. During the Ukraine crisis, the most pitiful of this class are the American moralisers—I imagine them fervently tuned into Rachel Maddow, or crying during another one of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's rants—whose taxes have largely contributed the dozen or so "wars" of the last decade. The "perfectly imperfect" who feel no moral implication for the tragedy that the US nation is today or the events leading up to this conflict. Even after all of this crisis, the petty-bourgeois will be politically unchanged, philosophically vapid, and determined as ever to make the world "better" without providing praxis.
In this sense, the petty-bourgeois counter-revolutionary maintains an infinite mode of ideological sovereignty. They believe themselves to be exalted above the muck of society.
Two writers also point exactly to the sentiments of this class:
"...the democrat (that is, the petty-bourgeois revolutionary) comes out of the most shameful defeats as unmarked as he naively went into them; he comes away with the newly gained conviction that he must be victorious, not that he or his party ought to give up the old principles, but that conditions ought to accommodate him." — Marx quoted in Luxemburg's Junius Pamphlet, p3
"The invocation of God is never innocent; in fact, the subject occupies the same place, in liberalism, that God once did in the monarchies of divine right. The subject (the voter) is the source of _transcendent legitimacy_, and like God, He cannot be held responsible for anything that happens under his rule. The subject’s irresponsibility is total, but so too is his guilt. To feel guilty and yet not _responsible…_could there be a more distinctively liberal disposition?" — Ulysses Carrier
While with two social media instances to add perfect color. Incredibly, these are not satire:
The pressure that was building within me finally broke and forced me through a eureka to the point where I'd convinced my self that the only political action remaining was all-out assassination of the ruling class. Although theory and political ideation are necessary, there is a point where theory becomes praxis. Coming down from the high of eureka demands the beginning of this praxis.
There are a handful of ideas underpinning my political thinking at present: framed under Debord's Society of the Spectacle and Marx's Commodity Fetishism political discourse today—especially in the EU and the USA—are driven by a ruse of virtue signalling and performance. Because of a seeming lack of ability to think critically about history, geopolitics, and civilization, most people take to social media to shame their rivals earnestly believing that this will change society for the better. Very little politics happens in the physical world aside from public demonstrations—as time goes on, we notice these demonstrations becoming increasingly violent with almost no effective praxis.
Thinking about a communist revolution on Today's terms, one thing that we must address is building a political praxis that subverts the commodification of capital and the fetishism of the Spectacle. One of the most novel approaches I've come across in recent time is that of @deleuzean_thembo and @meltdown_your_books, on Instagram:
From my understanding, revolutionary littering beckons the physical manufacturing of waste within this state of capitalism. Landfills become, as my friend says, the place where "surplus value goes to die"—social spaces resulting of societal behavior yet completely removed from societal life. Especially in the affluent spaces of the wealth class, there is an ideological removal of waste—the "aesthete" of affluence demands a false, hygienic appearance. When in reality, there is no difference between us and the waste that we create. As Thembo states, "revolutionary littering means introducing the reality of capitalism in the ideological spaces from which it has been excluded" [src].
Revolutionary littering is the act of returning our mess to our domestic spaces—more poignantly, placing it on the doorsteps of the people who manufacture it, sell it to us, and control access to wealth while maintaining a false, ideological divinity above "us". While I can already hear the petty-bourgeois cries of ethics, morality, and so on, it is exactly this outrage that leads us to understand the necessity of such an action on a global scale. This reminds me of a clip from the film "Examined Life" featuring Slavoj and garbage:
Also, there is a film "Hard to Be God"; a film that begs to be studied by this petty-bourgeois society, and beckons them to give up this tawdry need for "aesthetic" cleanliness—their ideological removal from trash, and the idea that life is meant to be a politically neutral soup of pleasantness. Whatever is to be done—abolishing the state, proletariat revolution, informing the uninformed about class conciousness, seizing the means of production—nothing is ever accomplished in the petty-bourgeois sport of running around the globe to attend the next gathing of capital worship.
But whatever, I rest my case. The petty-bourgeois society lost one member today and knowing them, they don't care and won't miss me.
P.S. As I finish editing this, I've already just read "Twelve Thesis on the War Underway"—appropriate follow-up for someone leaving the petty-bourgeois and moving into solidarity with workers, and the global fight against capitalist-imperialist.